by Staff Reporter
FOREIGN investment in the Balearics last year came to 313.4 million euros, 188 percent more than 2002, with 72 percent of the money going to the tourist trade and 23 percent to real estate.

The figures were released yesterday by Lluis Ramis de Ayreflor, the Balearic finance, tax and innovation minister.
He said that tourism attracted 222 million euros in just over 9'000 businesses, including 3'722 restaurants, 69 percent of them with a staff of less than ten people.

Nearly 1'000 hotels attracted foreign funding, but only 14 of them had a staff of more than 50, while 68 had fewer than ten employees.
The real estate sector attracted 72 million euros, the second largest slice of the investments, and the minister attributed this to a recovery of confidence in the Balearic economy.

Other sectors which attracted attention from foreign investors were furniture, where 526 firms attracted funds, and ship building and repairs, with 521 firms.

Ramis de Ayreflor said that the naval sector has grown by about 20 percent since 1999.
The European Union was the biggest investor with 273.1 million euros, provided by Luxemburg (211 million), Germany (23 million), Holland (13 million), the United Kingdom (nine million) and France (seven million). Second was financial centres such as Liechtenstein with 21 million euros and last was Latin America with 6.4 million euros.

A guide to investments and business in the Balearics is being prepared.

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